There won’t be any non-digital brands ten years from now, but very few businesses I come across really understand what digital transformation really means. So, for the record, here are my top three initiatives for any business that wants to stay in business for the next decade.

1 – If you don’t know what your customers and those of your competitors think and feel, find out. All you need to know is either published, contained in your customer data or accessible with a little on-line research. So, institute a comprehensive discovery programme today. Get to understand your markets and consumers and then work out if you appeal to the sector of the market that offers you the best chance of success. If not, don’t pretend, fix it. Whatever it costs, it won’t be as expensive as going broke and in this battle for markets there won’t be any prisoners.

2 – The single biggest factor separating success from failure in today’s business world is efficiency so increase your efficiency by focussing your entire marketing effort in a single sales delivery pipeline. Your entire customer journey can and should be fully integrated and digitally driven with measurements taken at every point along the way. The end result should be happy customers, more referrals and an in-tray bursting with qualified leads that enjoy the highest possible conversion rate and waste the least time in the pursuit of non-profitable sales.

3 – However, digital isn’t really about automating what you do already, it’s about doing things you never dreamt possible. Once you have improved productivity and efficiency enlist contemporary communications channels to connect with your employees and implement an internal marketing campaign that will guarantee they understand your brand promise and are fully committed to supporting it. Then, with the insights you will have if you follow my first initiative, they will invent the new products and services you need to succeed.

Of course these are just your starting point. There’s a lot more you should be doing. 30% of businesses are already on the road to digital transformation, yet despite being smart enough to have made a start 70% will fail and one-in-three of those will become history, along with most of those that haven’t got out of bed yet. You need to get cracking.

Originally published on LinkedIn December 2015

Phil Darby
August 2, 2018

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